PA Supremes to Consider EQT Request to Drill Well in Jefferson Hills

In December 2015 MDN told you about EQT’s application to drill a single shale well in Jefferson Hills (Allegheny County), PA (see Jefferson Hills, PA Antis Oppose EQT Well Near Future School Site). The well would be drilled “near” where a new school is due to be built, which generated vigorous local opposition. As part of the a conditional use permit, EQT agreed to (a) not use Borough roads during construction, (b) use a pipeline from a local water company instead of trucks for the water needed to drill and frack, greatly reducing the amount of truck traffic, (c) pledged the project would not impact local streams and wetlands, (d) comply with local lighting regulations, and (e) install sound walls if needed. In other words, EQT bent backwards, forwards, sideways, jumped through numerous hoops and turned itself inside out to comply with requests from the town. The Borough Planning Commission unanimously approved the conditional use permit request. But then the town, bowing to pressure from residents, rejected the request in December 2015, saying the proposed project would endanger local health and the environment. EQT sued and won in the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County in June 2016. Jefferson Hills appealed and in May 2017, the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania upheld the EQT verdict saying the town arbitrarily rejected the permit and EQT should be allowed to drill (see PA Appeals Court Clears Way for EQT to Drill Jefferson Hills Well). Jefferson Hills appealed it all the way the PA Supreme Court and on Monday the court agreed to hear the case…

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